Historically, the arts have been funded by patronage. The commercialization of the arts is a fairly recent phenomenon. Yes, many great artists have died penniless with their genius unrecognized. But that means they created out of love for their art and the need to express their genius not out of a desire for financial renumeration. In addition, original works of art are far more valuable than reproductions. So not only is there an innate desire in true creators to create, there is also an innate desire in others to reward this creation, after the fact. There is joy in the act of creation and there is joy in others when they appreciate what was created. I've been in movie theaters where the audience stood up and gave the movie standing ovation even though none of the creators were there to hear the applause. There is no doubt that at that point in time many people would have paid generously if making a payment was as easy as tapping a button on their phone. Films that moved people would be rewarded.
The notion that patronage does not work is only in the context of a world where the arts have been bastardized and exploited for monetary gain. Of course people who are embedded in the commercialization model will have a difficult time making the transition. This is a feature not a bug. It would be a benefit to have the exploiters weeded out so more genuine creation and genius can flourish. It is insane to for us to give the role of story-teller to Hollywood writers. They are not the people who should be teaching our children about relationships. Sex sells. Violence sells. But these are not the stories and myths we want our children to be raised on. The information we pass on to the next generation should not be based primarily on what is most titillating.
As the cost to copy, store, and transmit information continues to plummet, the commercialization model becomes less and less tenable, requiring draconian measure to give content owners more and more control over all aspects of information transfer and processing. It would require a fascist dictatorship over information.
OTOH, the patronage model becomes easier as information technology advances. It can be fueled by instant micropayments so everyone who chooses to can participate and vote with their wallets. In the long run it is the only sensible approach. But even in the short term, it is the only way I know of to stem the tide of cultural exploitation and destruction that the commercialization of the arts has caused.
Culture belongs to everybody. It is our birthright and it is the lifeblood of our civilization. It is crazy to lock it up tightly due to the fact that the cost of information transfer and storage is getting close to zero. The cost to our society and to our civilization for this lock-up is enormous because we are denying our children and our children's children their birthright. It is a form of cultural and societal suicide. The miracle of life is based on passing genetic information from one generation to the next. Human beings were able to supercharge this passing on of information by creating side-channels: art, language, history, science and the humanities, even religion. Evolution in these side-channel information transfers was staggeringly fast compared to genetic evolution. Stifling this form of evolution is the ultimate triumph of mediocrity over genius.